Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life Lessons

This has been an expensive summer for a couple of my boys.

All four of the kidlets are good and (mostly) careful drivers. But having all of your young reactive skills intact is sometimes not as useful as having your middle-aged caution switched on.

A couple of weeks ago Boy#3 discovered for the first time that the road he has driven to work for the past two summers has a speed limit of 55, rather than 65. The kindly cop who pulled him over was regretful about this misconception but wrote out the ticket anyway.

And yesterday, Boy#4 learned that those yellow lines in intersections? Are in effect even if no cars are coming in the opposite lane.

These are expensive lessons that the boys immediately translate into the common currency of hours worked. It hurts to know that ignorance isn't bliss, but is three days of cleaning out trash cans filled with nauseating debris by tipsy campers. It's painful to realize that the four seconds it took to get around that dawdling truck now will mean driving that delivery car for a full week to pay the fine.

They're expensive life lessons, but the next time either kid is tempted to shade the letter of the driving law, I'm guessing they'll resist. If that's the cost of keeping them safe, it's a bargain.

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